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Low Cost Manufacture of Micro-Optical Components & Systems Using Ink-Jet Technology
Phone: (214) 578-8076
We will develop a new low cost, data driven, manufacturing technique for constructing micro-optical elements and optical integrated circuits. Specifically, we will apply ink-jet printing technology to form and place microscopic droplets of passive and active optical materials, such as uv-cured resins and sol-gel glasses, in order to construct micro-optical elements and structures of high scientific, commerical, and defense department interest. Ink-jet technologies reliably and repeatably produce and place droplets 20-150um in diameter. Applications of this approach which we will evaluate include the delivery of droplets of these materials directly onto the tips of optical fibers and the output facets of diode lasers to alter and improve their optical properties; and the delivery of droplets onto substrates to form structures such as lenslet arrays, waveguides and couplers for potential use in optical integrated circuits. Future (Phase II and III) applications to be investigated include: optical switching and routing components; novel micro-lasers for high spectral purity or femtosecond applications; and optical sensors. Anticipated Benefits: This research will lead to significant cost reductions in the manufacture of passive and active optical elements. Thus, this work will accelerate the development of commercial and defense related integrated optical devices.
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